Establishing and managing partnerships to enable companies in the online print industry to face the future – that sounds like a great business model. This is just one reason for having an in-depth conversation with Olav Kollin – CEO of “MyMatz”.
As a follow-up to the 5th Online Print Symposium I have spoken with several industry CEOs about their companies and how they are evolving and about their views on the online print market. This gives you the reader the opportunity to understand the points of view expressed by a number of CEOs and to obtain first-hand insights. Kollin has been operating as a print and media service provider in the market for more than ten years and in its capacity as an online print provider has been a member of the Initiative Online Print for many years. I never tire of pointing out that Olav Kollin, CEO of Kollin Medien GmbH, is a champion of networking in the print sector and always sets a good example. His latest baby is “MyMatz”.
Bernd Zipper: Olav, keeping it short and sweet: what is Kollin Medien all about and what distinguishes your business?
Olav Kollin: The roughly 80 employees working at our print center in Neudrossenfeld are a varied mix of “old hands” with industry experience and young, motivated high flyers. That’s exactly why we are different. Ranging from printable, 100% ecological seed sets to classic newspaper print – we produce and market exceptional in-vogue products as well as a wide range of different specials and print related services, in addition to standard products.
Bernd Zipper: You have also been represented online by print4reseller since 2009 and have created a platform for print companies and resellers – Marktplatz 4.0. How have your business and the platform evolved during this period? What print methods, products and services have been added and which have been discontinued?
Olav Kollin: As an online print provider we have focused on the needs of resellers with our PRINT 4 RESELLER brand since 2009 and started “networking” as well as operating through partnerships at an early stage – and successfully so. To date we have established a large number of stores and interfaces with other systems and will now incorporate all our experience in a new marketplace. This is completely new and entirely different, because anyone can get involved!
Bernd Zipper: A new marketplace? How does that work then?
Olav Kollin: By establishing MyMatz we want to go an extra step and provide a platform delivering profitable contacts to all those offering print and/or creative services or with a corresponding need for tailored solutions plus combine other product portfolios. As part of the MyMatz community, partners are able to pin up offers and jobs, search or offer specific print and marketing services and increase their reach. We believe it is particularly important that all partners are able to get a handle on the massive print product-related opportunities available out there, communicate and maintain their networks of personal contacts.
Bernd Zipper: How do you see the online print sector in Germany evolving in 2017 and beyond?
Olav Kollin: I believe that online print is gaining in reputation, that product diversity and service scope are set to grow and that there is still room for new ideas in eCommerce!
“More service, fresh ideas and partnerships that add value – that could be the recipe for online print success in the future.” – Bernd Zipper
Bernd Zipper: Mass customization is the customer magnet of the future. Which business activities do you see as having a key impact on sales in the future and why? Where can potential be exploited?
Olav Kollin: When we talk about mass customization, we in our industry have to distinguish between the personalization of products for consumers on the one hand, e.g. as in the name “Kevin” being printed on a sandwich box, and complex print jobs that can indeed be produced in a standardizable way on the other. Anyhow it’s obvious that personalized products still have enormous growth potential. As far as complex print jobs are concerned, I see opportunities for modern-day print inquiries, which could not previously be modelled online. Technology will play a key role here to ensure that these jobs can be priced and processed online. Such jobs include, for example, a premium catalog involving complex data approval processes, ink acceptances, finishes and logistics.
Bernd Zipper: In which areas is Kollin Mediengesellschaft set to develop its offering? In which direction are you headed?
Olav Kollin: We want to be perceived even more as a service provider in the future and provide our customers and partners with even more print products and print-related services as well as be the go-to point of contact for marketing and media services. Our objective here is one marketplace, one login, one point of contact and one invoice.
Bernd Zipper: How important are printing or production methods in an age when promotion frequently determines market success or failure?
Olav Kollin: What ultimately matters to customers is the response they get. They usually don’t care which promotional medium they use. Irrespective of whether online or print – our job is to offer them the right media. That’s precisely the challenge and opportunity for print. The power is in the combination of media!
Bernd Zipper: In an age of social media, service and mobile pressures on online businesses as well as an extremely diverse range of customer requirements, it is becoming more and more of a complex task to position a business adequately in the marketplace. How do you achieve that?
Olav Kollin: A fascinating question! We had to evolve in a major way and needed to gain plenty of experience and learn a great deal. But today we can say that all this experience has been incorporated into our new marketplace.
Our main focus will not just be on providing a platform, which concentrates on purchase transactions. Of course we will remain an online store, but that will only be a part of the future marketplace. However what’s more important is providing customers with added value, supplying them with a comprehensive range of services and creating a shopping experience, from which collaborative partners benefit at the same time.
Bernd Zipper: The IOP is a forum where various, to some extent competing members of the online print community meet. Why did you decide that your business should join this initiative?
Olav Kollin: We want to be close to the industry, fly the flag, represent our marketplace and observe the market. As a melting pot of representatives of the industry, the IOP is exactly the right forum and should not be underestimated in terms of networking. It has enabled us to establish new partnerships and collaborative ventures, practice knowledge sharing and benefit from each other – and also make and maintain friendships!
Bernd Zipper: If you were granted a wish in relation to the current and/or future online print industry, what would it be?
Olav Kollin: Pin to win! Competition was yesterday, partnership is what’s relevant today!
My take: Great attitude! As I said before – Kollin is a champion of putting the concept of networking into practice. Anybody in the online print industry that wants to play on a level playing field, initiate partnerships and keep tabs on the marketplace is in the right place at Initiative Online Print. Olav Kollin demonstrates that business thinking does not always have to involve competition and crowding out. I can only share his view on how online print is set to evolve – fresh ideas create potential and providing more in the way of services will help boost the image of online print providers further.